Blood test Vials

Convenient and Affordable Lab Testing – Regardless of Insurance

Have you been putting off getting lab-work done due to the cost or inconvenience? 

While regular lab testing may seem like an unnecessary luxury to those without proper medical insurance, here at The Natural Medicine Center of Lakeland we are dedicated to making this process convenient and affordable, especially for those uninsured.  If you are already an established patient with us the paper-work and waiting time will be extremely minimal and you should be in and out of our clinic in 15-20 minutes.  Even if you are unfamiliar with our clinic we will be fully able to assist you in getting your lab work so that you can keep it for your own personal records or to bring it to your primary care physician.

Our primary doctor, Catherine Onuoha, will discuss with patients the significance of each lab test being recommended and can work to reduce the number of tests if price is an issue.  We can also supply patients with a preliminary invoice of the cost of various labs so that they know their final total and the individual lab-test costs.

Don’t wait for minor symptoms to become major!

Issues such as thyroid and or hormone imbalance are often misdiagnosed or ignored leaving their symptoms un-medicated or improperly treated.  If you frequently suffer from common thyroid issues such as fatigue, weakness, and muscle aches, or hormone symptoms such as heavy periods, hot flashes, and indigestion, it is very likely that your hormone or thyroid levels are out of balance.  Once we receive your results we will call to let you know and offer to send it by physical mail or e-mail.  While we encourage our patients to discuss their results with Dr. Catherine to begin a medication regimen to bring their levels back to a state of balance, our patients are more than free to take their results to their primary care physician or to hold on to them for their own personal records.

Serious diseases often take months or years to develop and the more noticeable signs and symptoms might not appear till the disease is already manifested.  Through lab tests you are able to pin-point problems at an early stage and intervene before an issue becomes serious.  While paying for lab-work while healthy might seem like a waste, the chart below demonstrates how expensive, unpleasant, and time consuming an un-managed disease can be.

Take control of your health and empower yourself with the knowledge of how your body is functioning and see how simple changes can lead to drastic results!

Below are some of the prices for our most popular lab tests (Prices reflect the cost without insurance which would be due upon blood-draw):

Thyroid Panel – $66

Hormone Panel – $94

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel – $11

Cortisol – $38

For additional pricing information and other questions please e-mail us at info@naturallakeland.com or call the phone number below.

(863) 899-8877

7 Reasons Why Functional Medicine is FOR YOU

Why Functional Medicine?  Well, if you’re not sleeping well, seem cranky all day and your stomach seem always upset.  In addition you’re feeling a bit down and just can’t figure out why.  You head to your primary physician for—if you’re lucky—a 10-minute talk about what’s going on with you. The physician listens, nods his/her head a few times and then hands you a prescription or two, shakes your hand, and says “this should help”.  Case closed unless you call for another appointment.

You get home and Google the prescribed drugs to read all the potential side effects, constipation, dry mouth, dizziness, confusion, thoughts of suicide, lower sex drive and the list goes on.  Does this approach actually make anyone better? In a word, no.  It’s an attempt to mask the actual cause of your symptoms verses address them to heal.

Why Functional Medicine?

It’s the most profound and effective way to treat patients—particularly those with chronic health issues and here’s the 7 reasons why Functional Medicine is FOR YOU:

1. Functional Medicine is all about you

In simplest terms, think of it as the ultimate in personalized, one-on-one, therapeutic relationships. It’s a health-focused, patient-centric partnership, in which doctor and patient work together to dig deep and find out the causes of illness and disease. We examine not only the patient, but also their unique history, environment, lifestyle and underlying factors, and then develop a health-enhancing, usually drug-free plan to help restore the patient to good health and get him or her on a life-long path of wellness. With Functional Medicine, we look beyond the laundry list of symptoms; the whole person is taken into account.

3. Functional Medicine is not assembly-line medicine

Our current healthcare system is, to a large extent, governed by profit-driven conglomerates that essentially force physicians to manage huge caseloads and keep people moving through the system as quickly as possible. It’s mass-produced, assembly line, quick-fix, put-a-band-aid-on-it medicine, with little hope of creating long-term health. To it’s credit however, Conventional Medicine is great at managing medical and surgical emergencies, medical crises, acute infections and trauma, but falls way short when it comes to treating chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, gastrointestinal problems, chronic fatigue, autoimmune diseases, functional disorders, musculoskeletal problems and stress related disorders. This is where Functional Medicine is near perfect with its more comprehensive, thoughtful individual approach.  After all, you are unique and so should your health recovery plan be.

2. Functional Medicine is artisan medicine

With Functional Medicine, the patient experience is anything but conventional. One might even call it ‘artisan medicine’, because it an art of balance, involves time, care and patience, since true healing doesn’t happen overnight. With Functional Medicine, we treat the person who has the disease rather than the disease the person has. It’s not unusual for my colleagues and me to spend an hour or more with patients, listening to their histories, doing the detective work, asking questions, and examining the genetic, environmental, and lifestyle patterns that effect health. By addressing the underlying causes of illness and disease, Functional Medicine practitioners are able to design unique, personalized healing plans that Conventional Medicine literally doesn’t have the tools, training, or the time for.

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4. Functional Medicine is the best of both worlds

Functional Medicine is not an either/or system, but rather a true combination of Conventional Medicine and many different alternative and complementary therapies. It acknowledges the strengths of Conventional Medicine for acute and crisis-care, but also realizes that this approach does not have the tools for preventing and treating chronic diseases. Unlike conventional physicians, we are able to tap into all the tools of healing—drawing from Western, Eastern, alternative, preventative and integrative medical practices—to help our patients heal. By pulling from all of these approaches and by paying special attention to diet, exercise, nutrition, supplementation and the workings of the mind, we’re not just giving patients a band-aid, we’re giving them the tools to create sustainable wellness and vitality. To me, is what true healing is all about.

5. Functional Medicine looks for the cause

In Conventional Medicine, doctors try to make a diagnosis and then apply a treatment for that particular diagnosis. In Functional Medicine we are less concerned with making a diagnosis and more concerned with the underlying imbalances or dysfunctions. These are the mechanisms of the disease process. We aim at treating those underlying disease mechanisms and ultimately look for the causes of those imbalances.

6. Functional Medicine is medicine on a mission

I call myself a health evangelist, in part because I am a man on a mission. I aim to show the unwell how they can transform their health. Certainly they will need to do the work as I can’t do it for them, but we will work as partners to restore balance and health to their lives. And participating in the process, that slow transition from illness to wellness, is one of the greatest joys of Functional Medicine—for both patient and practitioner.

7. Functional Medicine is true Health Care

Functional Medicine is true health care, unlike the disease care model of Conventional Medicine. We now have the knowledge to go beyond the current crisis care model and offer patients a much better approach to their health. We can incorporate lifestyle medicine, nutrition, supplements, stress reduction and exercise to improve the functioning of organs as a means of preventing disease and creating vibrant, sustainable health.

Functional Medicine is literally FOR YOU.

Balancing Hormones

Hormone balance can be influenced by a number of factors in men and women. Fluctuations in hormone levels occur throughout the lifecycle, some are just a natural part of aging while others may be the result of stress, toxic exposures, diet, or unhealthy sleep patterns. It is important to monitor your hormone levels throughout the lifespan and take action early to address imbalances before it affects your health or quality of life.

 Symptoms of Hormone Imbalance

The symptoms of hormone imbalance may vary from person to person and evolve over time. For example, a woman may experience menopausal symptoms, like hot flashes during the early stages of menopause, but she may continue to experience these discomforts for years after menstrual cycle has stopped. Men often experience symptoms on an intermittent basis as testosterone levels begin to decline in his late 20s. Symptoms often become for frequent or compile as a man reaches middle age.

  • Hot flashes
  • Night sweats
  • Weight gain
  • Muscle loss
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Irritability
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low energy

The Benefits of Balanced Hormones

Achieving hormone balance offers men and women a number of benefits, such as more energy, better sleep, and stabilized moods, but beyond that research has shown that hormone therapy improves overall health by reducing risk of disease.

Late in 2015, the results of the Veterans Database Study found that men who treated low testosterone with testosterone therapy experienced a reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) early 2016 found that testosterone therapy improved mood, sexual health, and physical fitness in men.

Among women, hormone therapy has been heralded as the best treatment for menopause, helping to reduce the frequency and severity of symptoms. In March of 2016, the results of the highly anticipated ELITE study were published in NEJM, finding that women who begin hormone therapy early in their menopausal years experienced a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Finding the Right Hormone Balance

The practitioners at Natural Medicine Center are experts in hormone health. Each practitioners understands that achieving balance is a combination of advanced therapies, like bioidentical hormone therapy, and dynamic strategies for nutrition, stress management, and sleep that work synergistically to promote optimal health. Every practitioner is specially-trained and certified in bioidentical hormone therapy and functional medicine practices to ensure every patient receives elite care and maximizes their health potential.

Beat Your Stress Hormone Nine Ways Natural Medicine Center Lakeland Central Florida

Beat Your Stress Hormone – 9 Natural Ways

To beat your stress hormone you first have to understand it.  The stress hormone Cortisol is meant to help us.  It is produced by the Adrenal gland.  When we are overloaded with the many forms of stress from our modern world we can sometimes enter into the state of Cortisol Flooding which is a symptom of Adrenal Fatigue.

Check out: Adrenal Fatigue – Chronic Stress Response

Cortisol helps regulate blood pressure and the immune system during a sudden crisis, whether a physical attack or an emotional setback. This helps you to tap into your energy reserves and increases your ability to fight off infection.

The trouble arises when relentless stress can keep this survival mechanism churning in high gear, ruining the hormone’s good intentions.

Constant high cortisol levels can cause:

  • sleep problems

  • a depressed immune response

  • blood sugar abnormalities

  • abdominal weight gain

“When cortisol spikes, it tells the brain to eat something with a lot of calories—a great survival tactic if you need energy to run away from a lion.  But not so great if you are stressed over a mother-in-law, paying bills, highway traffic or other modern issues.

To gain control over the Cortisol stress hormone our mind and body has a natural balance.

Relaxation.

Beat your stress hormone with these 9 easy and natural ways

Cut Cortisol 66% – Music soothes and heals

Music can have a calming effect on the brain, especially while you’re facing down a major stressor. When doctors at Japan’s Osaka Medical Center played tunes for a group of patients undergoing colonoscopies, the patients’ cortisol levels rose less than those of others who underwent the same procedure in a quiet room. Even if an invasive gastrointestinal exam isn’t in your immediate future, you can forestall cortisol spikes in other stressful situations—when hosting dinner for your in-laws, for instance—by queueing up background music. And to wind down faster at bedtime, listen to something soothing instead of watching TV.

Check out this 30 minute YouTube stress busting gentle music.  Dawn your headphones, close your eyes and for 30 minutes just breath slowly and deeply, focusing on your breath and feel warm energy flow in as your inhale and dark stress leave as you exhale.  You can even listen to this over your lunch break relaxing in your car.  Or laying in the grass at a nearby park.

 

Cut Cortisol Naturally with Sleep Reduce Stress Hormone Natural Medicine Center Lakeland Central Florida

Take a nap if needed. Get at least 8 hours of sleep but some people need more to deal with stressful periods to cut cortisol.

Cut Cortisol 50% – Sleep 

What’s the difference between getting six hours of sleep instead of the suggested eight? “Fifty percent more cortisol in the bloodstream,” Talbott says. When a group of pilots slept six hours or less for seven nights while on duty, their cortisol levels increased significantly and stayed elevated for two days, found a study at Germany’s Institute for Aerospace Medicine. The recommended 8 hours of nightly shut-eye allows your body enough time to recover from the day’s stresses, Talbott says. When you fall short of the mark, take a nap the next day—Pennsylvania State University researchers found that a midday snooze cut cortisol levels in subjects who’d lost sleep the previous night.

Cut Cortisol 47% – Drink black tea

The “cup that cheers” has deep associations with comfort and calm—just think of how the English revere their late-afternoon teatime. As it turns out, science confirms the connection. When volunteers at University College London were given a stressful task, the cortisol levels of those who were regular black-tea drinkers fell by 47% within an hour of completing the assignment, while others who drank fake tea experienced only a 27% drop. Study author Andrew Steptoe, PhD, suspects that naturally occurring chemicals such as polyphenols and flavonoids may be responsible for tea’s calming effects.

Cut Cortisol 39% – Laugh

The pal who keeps you in stitches can do more than distract you from your problems—her very presence may help temper your hormonal stress response. Simply anticipating laughter is enough to reduce cortisol levels by nearly half, according to researchers at Loma Linda University.

Stress Relief Cortisol Hormone Reducer Massage Therapy Natural Medicine Center Lakelane Central FloridaCut Cortisol 31% – Schedule a Massage

A little pampering can rub your stress levels the right way. After several weeks of massage therapy, subjects’ cortisol levels decreased by nearly one-third, on average, according to studies at the University of Miami School of Medicine and elsewhere. In addition to keeping cortisol under control, massage sessions reduce stress by promoting production of dopamine and serotonin, the same “feel good” hormones released when we socialize with pals or do something fun.

Book Your Massage Appointment Now

Cut Cortisol – With Acupuncture

As reported Journal of Endocrinology, researchers led by Ladan Eshkevari, assistant program director of the nurse anesthesia program at Georgetown University School of Nursing and Health Studies found that stimulated the body via acupuncture has significant results in lowering the stress hormone.  Read about it in the New York Times online here.

Book Your Acupuncture Appointment Now

Cut Cortisol 25% – Do Something Spiritual

Religious ritual fortifies many people against everyday pressures, and it can also lower cortisol secretion, report University of Mississippi researchers. Churchgoing study subjects had lower levels of the stress hormone, on average, than those who did not attend services at all. If organized religion isn’t of interest to you, try developing your spiritual side by taking a walk in nature’s “cathedral”—in the woods or along a beach—or volunteering for a charity.

Cut Cortisol 20% – Meditate

People who practiced Buddhist meditation significantly decreased both cortisol and blood pressure in a 6-week Thai study. Similarly, participants who meditated daily for four months decreased the hormone by an average of 20% in a study at Maharishi University, while levels in the nonmeditating control group actually went up slightly.

Here’s a sample guided meditation.  It instructs to lie down, yet you can do any meditation in a comfortable chair.  It can even be done over your lunch hour in your car with the seat tilted back comfortably.

Cut Cortisol 12-16% – Chew a Piece of Gum

Next time you feel frazzled, try popping a stick of gum into your mouth to instantly defuse tension, suggest new findings from Northumbria University in the United Kingdom. While under moderate stress, gum chewers had salivary cortisol levels that were 12% lower than nonchewers and also reported greater alertness than their gum-deprived counterparts. One possible mechanism: In past experiments, chewing gum increased blood flow and neural activity in select brain regions.

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Adrenal Fatigue – Chronic Stress Response

Adrenal fatigue is a collection of symptoms which develop when the adrenal glands are unable to function at their optimum level. Though it usually develops after periods of prolonged stress, adrenal fatigue can occur after severe infections.

Why does Adrenal Fatigue occur?

Everyone has stress in their life.  As humans we developed the natural Fight or Flight reaction to our environment long ago.  It’s base function is to kept us safe.  Although most people don’t encounter predators such as tigers and alligators – unless you are on a reality TV show, this Fight or Flight was the brain’s trigger to get out of harms way.

Fight or Flight Stress Response Lion Chasing Man Adrenal Fatigue Understanding Stressing Issues and Remedies Natural Medicine Center Lakeland Central Florida

In today’s modern world stressors can come in many forms such as:

  • Getting the kids fed, dressed and off to school in time
  • The roadway traffic jams on our way to work
  • Balancing work and family life – shuffling kids to sports practice and the many other activities to keep our kids growing and engaged
  • Interpersonal relationship struggles be it marriage issues, extended family or at the office
  • Health concerns – Dealing with personal or family ill health, disease / cancer.  Losing a loved one (human or pet)
  • Financial concerns – loosing a job, taxes, buying a new car, having an accident, getting a traffic / speeding ticket, buy / selling / losing a home
  • Major life events such as getting married, getting divorced, buying / selling a home, new job or losing a job

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Check out: Beat Your Stress Hormone – 9 Natural Ways

Adrenal Fatigue Phases

The body’s stress response is characterized by the following three phases:

Phase 1 – Alarm Phase

This first phase of the body’s response to stress which is also known as the acute stress response, develops when the person encounters something that they perceive as a threat. The adrenal glands release stress hormones like adrenaline which prepares the person to fight or flee from the source of stress.

As a result of the secretion of adrenaline, the blood pressure, heart rate and breathing rate increase and the blood is shunted from the digestive system and taken to the muscles in the hands and legs.

This type of stress can be caused by everyday occurrences like arguments and traffic jams. After the person deals with the stressful situation the body recovers and the hormones that were elevated return to their normal levels within 30 minutes to 60 minutes.

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Phase 2 – Resistance Phase

This second phase develops when the person is exposed to continued stress–which forces the body to respond before it recovers completely from the first stressful event. The adrenal glands also respond by secreting stress hormones like cortisol.

The release of cortisol also results in elevated blood pressure and heart rate as well as craving carbohydrates to provide the body with a source of energy.

Other symptoms that may be experienced by patients in this phase include irritability, malaise, anxiety, depression, low libido, difficulty sleeping and concentrating.

Phase 3 – Exhaustion Phase

This third phase is also known as adrenal fatigue. Here, essentially, burnout develops because the person has been exposed to stress for a long time. The body loses its ability to cope with the stressful event since the adrenal glands cannot keep up with the signals sent by the nervous system to release hormones.

Symptoms associated with this stage include extreme fatigue and difficulties completing everyday activities. During this stage other body organs begin to suffer the effects of continued stress on the body. This results in the development or aggravation of stress related illnesses like high blood pressure, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases.